Another Prentiss restructuring plan approved

BOONEVILLE – The Prentiss County School Board has voted again to implement a restructuring plan to begin with the 2010-2011 school year.
But the plan adopted Monday night is different from one rescinded last month that would have reorganized the district to two K-4, two 5-8 and two 9-12 schools.
The newly adopted plan, approved on a 3-2 vote, will result in two 7-12 grade high schools in the county and four K-6 elementary schools. The district currently has two K-8 schools; three K-12 schools and one 9-12 school.
Voting for the new reorganization plan were Perry Walden, Steve Taylor and Lisa Slack. Board President Rickie Davis voted against the plan, and board member Ronny Kesler was absent.
In a work session that preceded the regular meeting, Slack reviewed the five options previously submitted by Superintendent Matt Smith.
Walden, Taylor and Slack discussed the options, their savings to the school district and the number of students affected.
Davis declined to participate in the discussion, except to say that he opposed any option that would close the Jumpertown school, which is in the district he represents.
Smith said that in a meeting last week with Gov. Haley Barbour, superintendents were told there would be another round of budget cuts, anywhere from 2 to 5 percent, on top of the 5 percent cut already taken.
In light of that prospect, Smith said he was asking the board to consider adopting one of three recommendations: to put the restructuring question before voters in a binding election; to close Jumpertown school; or to choose the restructuring plan that was ultimately adopted.
Both of the first two options that Walden moved to adopt died due to lack of a second.
Under the reorganization plan the two high schools will be at New Site and Thrasher, and the four elementary schools will be at Hills Chapel, Jumpertown, Marietta and Wheeler.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal